Well, right. That's kind of what I mean. These things happened to
Citizendium because credentialism is the natural outcome of trying to create
a system of valuing a certain class of contributors more than others.
On Sun, Aug 29, 2010 at 12:35 PM, David Gerard <dgerard(a)gmail.com> wrote:
On 29 August 2010 17:19, David Moran
I think my problem with suggestions like this is
that the assumption at
heart of all of them--that "experts"
with degrees are preferable as
information authorities to nonexperts without--is deeply problematic, and
I'm not convinced it won't create more problems than it solves. I am not
myself an academic, but I've worked in an academic setting for over a
(I'm in college textbooks), and I work
closely with college faculty and
quite frankly the number of them I would trust to
edit an article I
to read is very small.
Academic qualifications generally just mean you stayed in school long
to get them, and little else. I'm not trying
to spout anti-intellectual
nonsense, I'm just saying that academia churns out an awful lot of people
with degrees every year, a really astonishing number actually, and an
lot of those people are no more deserving of the
term "expert" than the
driving the 2 train that took me to work this
morning, or the girl who
served me coffee at Dunkin' Donuts. I'm worried we'd give the imprimatur
extra scholarly specialness to the edits of a
bunch of people who
would not deserve it.
Take care not to conflate expertise with credentials. At best,
credentials are a shortcut to finding an expert; at worst, they're a
union card that people without workable expertise use to get a job
Clay Shirky noted this important distinction:
In practice, academics who are really interested in their field will
happily listen to the uncredentialed on their topic, even if only for
a moment, just in case they have something interesting to say.
Academics who are not all that good will be very credentialist.
Cranks, having no accepted expertise, will attach especial store to
what credentials they can scrape up. This, btw, is how Citizendium
became a pseudoscience haven:
foundation-l mailing list